Vancouver man accused of attempted murder of girlfriend

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

 

A Vancouver man stands accused of trying to kill his live-in girlfriend with a baseball bat late Thursday. Vancouver police had to break down the couple’s door to rescue the woman.

Jesse T. Duhamel, 37, also known as “Tripper,” appeared Friday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree attempted murder. Judge Scott Collier held him in jail on $400,000 bail.

He is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 17 on the charge. Vancouver attorney Jack Peterson was appointed to defend him.

Duhamel was ushered into the courtroom in shackles and a green suicide smock, designed to prevent inmates from fashioning the garment into a noose. After his hearing, he began to shuffle out of the courtroom when he saw The Columbian’s photographer snapping photos of him.

Duhamel roared expletives at the photographer. Collier chastised Duhamel for his inappropriate court behavior, and corrections officers dragged him away.

Police were dispatched to the suspect’s home at 10:17 p.m. Thursday in the 2600 block of East 20th Street on a report that he was suicidal and acting abnormally, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in court.

When officers arrived, they heard a woman screaming and being struck with a blunt object, the affidavit says.

As they attempted to force open the door, they saw Duhamel throw the woman against a window, the affidavit says.

“Fearful that (her) life was in jeopardy, I forced the door open and interrupted Duhamel assaulting (her) with a baseball bat,” one officer wrote.

The victim told officers that he had struck her in the back with the baseball bat and was going to kill her, court documents say.

“Thank you for saving my life,” she said, according to the affidavit. She was not seriously injured but complained of spinal pain and had welts on her back.

During an interview, Duhamel allegedly told police that he thought the victim “was out to get” him and that she had spiked his drink.

He said he was going to “get her before she got him.” An officer asked him if intended to kill the victim.

“It needs to be done,” Duhamel responded, according to the affidavit.

Duhamel and the victim had been living together for about three months.

Duhamel has a criminal record in California, Utah and Washington. Past convictions include assault, theft, battery, burglary, robbery and failure to appear in court.

Paris Achen: 360-735-4551; http://twitter.com/Col_Courts;http://facebook.com/ColTrends;paris.achen@columbian.com.